“Send them to bed without dinner”
“You’re creating a monster”
“If they don’t eat it, tough!”
My toddler’s fussy eating habits are stressful, to say the least.
Unsolicited advice and constant scrutiny from onlookers only makes it worse, though. Guys, I’m aware that my kid is a fussy eater.
There are days where our toddler eats a variety of bread, chicken nuggets and crackers. There are also days where that same fussy eater will eat cheese, yoghurt, ham, strawberries, blueberries, a banana, a salmon steak and roast potatoes.
The latter are rare, but they do happen. He is a fussy eater. I may be to blame – I often wonder if I introduced food incorrectly or if I made mealtime a stressful experience. I have accepted, though, that now the situation is what it is.
“Let him go hungry”
I have toyed with the notion of not offering an alternative to whatever I have served for dinner. A few hours after this, though, at 3am, I would realise what a bad idea that was. A starving 3-year-old isn’t really able to be reasoned with, when they discover how hungry they are in the middle of the night. And, as a full-time working mama, I wasn’t really in the mood to teach life lessons about eating your dinner at dinner time.
I’d like to take this moment to thank Aldi for their squeezy custard pouches. They have gotten me (and the toddler) through some really rough nights – don’t judge the 2-3 empty custard pouches on the head of the bed after these nights. You do what you’ve got to do.
I, personally, cannot function in any way to get my toddler to daycare and myself to work, if I’m up from 3 o’clock in the morning. There is no way I’m refusing to feed a child, who has probably already forgotten that the reason for his starvation is the meal he turned his nose up at 9 hours earlier.
Whatever it takes
We play games. I feed him like an animal, where he crawls around and I shovel food into his mouth. Sometimes I’ll use tongs to feed him – apparently it tastes better this way. iPad? Television? He can watch both! I don’t care, just please, kid, EAT.
We’ve accepted it
It’s not an ideal situation, but most nights it seems to work for us. Like I said: It is what it is.
It seems to stress others out more than it does us (by others, I mean people that don’t live in our household and think that sending kids to bed without dinner on a work-night is a clever idea).
I hold onto the hope that by the time he is twenty, I won’t need to resort to such measures.
Is your child still having night-time feeds? Try these tricks to stay away during those extra tiring nights.